I made a huge mistake believing the dogma that people with tech skills, like me, should only start a venture-backed startup. Charlie Munger said, "I like people admitting they were complete stupid horses' asses. I know I'll perform better if I rub my nose in my mistakes. This is a wonderful trick to learn."
Louie, excellent article as usual.
A small correction to the article (If I may suggest): Bentonville is not in the mid-west. Its in the South.
Nice spiky point of view, Louie! But I wouldn't go as far to say tech startups that grew big fast under ZIRP are deformed. Part of our entrepreneurial culture is to be pragmatic and make the most of whatever environment we're in. There are many paths to success and saying that ways other than small bets are deformed is a wee dogmatic too 😂
Sounds like the kernel of what could be a good book!
Louie, my friend. Great article. I don't think it is as black and white as you make it but your points are well received. I'm curious what the middle ground is? Chasing the "big win" by joining an early stage company as co-founder or founding engineer vs corporate giant are the two ends of the spectrum. There are many people taking really nice salaries (probably less all-in that Big Tech) and smaller equity comps (less than founder) who are happy with the balance at later stage with balance of cash and equity.
I think you're right about time commitment as freedom to take small bets diminishes greatly when you have a full-time gig but at the end of the day people value things differently.
I also believe the barrier to entry for starting company was at all time lows in last 4 years. More startups = more failures (and marginally more successes). The barrier being low is good but the barrier access to $$$ being low is a bad mix in my opinion.
All the best!
Great stuff, Louie!
Your intro got me thinking: “the dogma that people with tech skills, like me, should only start a venture-backed startup.”
Should simple tech people start any kind of startup at all? As a consultant, I build some SaaS apps for clients but I haven't had any good - not just good but any - ideas on my own.
I use like 4 tools day to day. When I shared a tweet a couple of months ago about my new MacBook and asked what I should install on it, I didn't know 10% of the software they recommend. When you are good with what you have? How do you build a software business then?
Ps: sorry for your property and thanks for putting into new perspective the problems I'm dealing with in my rentals.
Stay safe. Take care is what all comes to my mind now.
P.S: is it kind if you are in water all the time.. get out and you realise you were in water?